Citing a desire to resume his career as a writer, Del Reisman said Monday he will not run for a second term as president of the Writers Guild of America West.
“When I began my term as president, I had a very disciplined schedule, where I was going to be able to pursue writing and work with the Guild,” Reisman said. “But quickly the Guild work beganto consume all of the time I had set aside for writing. It was a difficult decision to make, but I really felt that I needed to pick up my professional career.”
While there are no official nominations yet for the upcoming WGAW elections, sources said a top contender for the prexy job is likely to be Oscar-winning writer Frank Pierson (“Dog Day Afternoon”), who previously served as Guild president from 1981 to 1983.
The Guild’s nominating committee is expected to announce its nominations either today or Wednesday.
Reisman, meanwhile, said he will continue to work “at full speed” until the end of his presidency this September, concentrating on Guild representation in various professional outreach programs.
More recently, the WGAW has created affiliations with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the North American Council, an association that deals with contractual matters pertaining to writers in both the United States and Canada.
“This decision not to run has been a difficult one for me because I am in the remaining months of my term as president and am deeply involved in the current debates over violence in film storytelling,” he said. “Especially as it is seen on the home screen.”
Reisman has also been involved in the continuing fight against ageism and unequal job access for women and minorities.
“Representing writers at this time of continuing change in the industry is an extraordinary challenge, as I try to balance our twin passions, freedom of expression and a social responsibility,” he said.
He said one area of continuing concern for him is the 1995 contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. Previously Reisman had co-chaired three negotiating committees in contract talks in 1981, 1985 and 1988.
“It was very much on my mind as I made this decision,” he said. “But I felt this would be best for me and best for the Guild.”
He noted that within the next two months, the WGAW’s contract adjustment committee will step up talks with producers.
The committee was created to hold ongoing talks with the producers to see if agreements could be reached on contract problems in a non-negotiating scenario. To date, the meetings have proved fruitless.
“Everyone is anxious to see if this can really work and produce some results, ” Reisman said.
Reisman has had an extensive career as a TV writer/producer, writing for such shows as “The Untouchables,””Rawhide,””Peyton Place,””Streets of San Francisco” and “Cagney & Lacey” among others. His current feature project is titled “The Morning Man and the Evening Woman.”